Based on what is currently known, it's a big leap to attributing autism and other problems to gluten, and an even bigger one to prescribing gluten-free eating as a treatment. It's possible that some people benefit from a gluten-free regimen for reasons that have less to do with gluten and much more to do with the structure involved in planning and sticking to such a strict eating plan.
In the context of celiac disease, gluten refers to the protein of grains capable of provoking an autoimmune response. Other grains also contain protein, but wheat, barley, rye, and spelt contain varieties that aren't broken down by digestive enzymes:
- in wheat, the difficult-to-digest protein is gliadin;
- in rye - secalin;
- in barley - hordein.
In people with celiac disease, when they get absorbed into the walls of the small intestine, the immune system misreads the situation, views them as intruders, and unleashes a furious inflammatory response that damages tissue.
A sharp distinction between humans and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them–without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeeling toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.
A tree is a plant with an elongated stem, or trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. Trees tend to be long-lived, some reaching several thousand years old. Trees have been in existence for 370 million years.
A variety of plant species have independently evolved a woody trunk and branches to compete for sunlight. In more general sense, tall palms, tree ferns, bananas and bamboos are also trees. The roots branch out under the ground to anchor the tree and to extract moisture and nutrients from the soil. Above ground, the branches usually bear leaves, which capture light.
Trees reduce erosion and moderate the climate. Trees and forests provide a habitat for many species of animals and plants. Some trees provide edible fruit.